Friday, February 15, 2013

Bereaved mothers are failures

Why is it that we jokingly measure parenting success or failure based on a a child's survival. Are we that horrible at parenthood that we are glad that we didn't kill our kids?

We've seen the memes. We may have even laugh or shared them. But I have to tell you, as funny as you think it is. It's not.

Welp, the internets have spoken. I have failed the ultimate test in good parenting.
The kids aren't all alive, and I'm still in my pajamas, and I feel pretty ugly reading this.
Failed at taking that shower too.

I understand the bad days, where life really pushes you to your limits and then some, where the house is left in shambles, where you really just don't get out of bed or function beyond telling the kids how to make a sandwich. But here is the thing, according to this standard thousands of parents are failures, through no fault of their own they have failed the ULTIMATE in proving that they are good parents. These memes feed into the guilt I carry, they make my pain bigger on the days it's not, they make me wish I had been gutted of my reproductive organs before I brought another person into this world. 

It's hard enough to lose a child, it's hard enough to know that for the rest of my life I will question my value as a mother, but to have this slapped in my face, LAUGHED ABOUT in my face on a continuing basis what are you telling me? I failed. I failed Bram, because I didn't keep him alive.

How about on those bad days, instead of "at least the kids are alive" how about "I'm pretty awesome for making it through a rough day"? That's far kinder to those of us who carry a burden you don't know and I hope you'll never know. It's far more loving to yourself as well. 

A kid dying isn't funny. Thanks for the sharp stick to the eye.  


  1. You are spot on. They are not funny, people are insensitive and just don't think. I've had a child permanently disable due to a brain injury sustained by an accident. I am very sorry for the loss of your child.

  2. I don't know you, you don't know me. But I'm very sorry for having shared these once or twice. Thank you for this post.

  3. I am so, so sorry for your loss. It is a huge tragedy and I hurt for you.

    I agree that those aren't even the least bit funny. A dear friend of mine lost a son in a tragic accident many years ago. She is the best mother that I know. The most kind and loving person I've ever met. The cream of the crop. Seeing those memes made me angry. For her. For you. For others who have lost children tragically.

  4. I never even thought of it like that. I am so sorry and ashamed to say I have shared these. My heart aches for you.

  5. depression is a heart full of emptiness, and grief is a heart
    full of love.

  6. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in sharing these things. I am appreciate you sharing this and I cringe at the thought of how I might have hurt some I love by reposting these. I truly apologize.

  7. Depression is not a heart full of emptiness. It's a condition that required some help. There's not shame in that, either.

  8. Oh my gosh! I'm very ashamed to admit that I have shared these in the past.
    I not once stopped to think of the impact it would have on a grieving mother.
    I am so so sorry for your loss.

  9. Samantha, I'm honored to read your words, taste the smallest fraction of your grief and know of your Bram. I'll be praying for your tomorrow on his birthday and the moments of lifetime and death you will live in only 1 day. Bang on God's chest, cling to that man by you and love on those precious boys. I'm so sorry. Eva

  10. Thanks for this post. I hope people will take this perspective to heart. I know people don't mean any harm by doing this, but I hope they will be able to see how insensitive it is and how painful it can be to a parent who has lost a child. Very wise.

    Someone else was once telling me that they found it gut-wrenching when pregnant people said "I only hope for a healthy baby" because her child has a disability and it always feels like a knife to the chest to her :( I would never have considered that perspective before being told and I'm always careful of it now.


Thanks for reading and loving Bram!